In the morning come, Eutostea’s sisters and the servants were in curious wonder of her… scent. Each time she passed, their bodies grew hot and in fervent heat, especially their groin.
“My heart is beating fast because of your scent, princess…” said one of the passing servants.
Eutostea’s cheeks burned like a tomato at the servant’s comment and she dashed straight to her room. Her servants soon followed after her.
Hours later, Eutostea was found sitting in daze at the garden.
There were carpetings imported from Persia sitting atop the armored pavilion and marble pillars supporting the roof.
Eutostea rang a bell lightly and food came flying in. She sat in front of the bowl of purple grapes, attempting to appease her hunger first. She was out of strength from last night and she needed to snap out of her euphoria.
Last night… she became someone’s meal.
Suddenly and unaware, the voice of a male rang out.
“Eutostea, you smell nice lately. Are you finally interested in perfumes?” the king questioned.
Eutostea looked up with a face full of embarrassment and said, “Pardon?”
“Yes. I’m sure the scent comes from you.” The king leaned forward and smiled. “What kind of perfume did you use? You should share it along women.”
Her two sisters and her mother, who’d been hiding from behind the walls jumped out from their hiding and joined in the conversation with gawking eyes.
“Right? I’ve never smelled anything like this before. I was wondering if younger sister was trying something new,” Asquitea said.
“Screw you, sister. When have I ever been stingy about sharing my cosmetics? I’m so very sad.” Hertia sniffled a cry and used her forefinger to gesture a fake tear.
Eutostea was speechless — she was embarrassed, ashamed, and bewildered that her body odor became the headline for her family members.
“I really did not put anything on,” Eutostea said, cheeks flushed red.
“Don’t lie, sister. I’m sure you put on olive oil.” Hertia replied.
“Is it the scent of flowers?” said Asquitea.
“No, it’s a cool scent coming out of deep forest after rain,” the mother remarked.
All three women’s replies were different.
The King of Thebes listened to their words with excitement and said, “Eutostea, stop teasing your mother and sisters. Go on, tell them the answer.”
But Eutostea did not answer.
“What’s wrong with you, Eutostea?” he questioned.
The king took his daughter’s silence as an answer that she was unwilling to reveal. Women’s stubbornness –– it’s as clear as daylight. But, he swallowed his words and did not pry any further.
“Well, it’s nice to see you have an interest in these kind of things too. It’s good that you’re taking steps to become a proper princess. You should look to your sisters for help too. You’re a princess and you’re to be married one day to a prince,” the king said, imparting his sound wisdom.
“You should listen to what your father says,” her mother added, “A woman’s natural appearance isn’t everything. Even though you were born fair, you’re far from ugly. You’ll be just as beautiful as your sister if you polish yourself well, my child.”
Others, they thought they had the rights to comment on Eutostea’s looks. She was the ugly sister and who she was and what she could offer was not good enough. She did not have the pretty face to match her pretty mind. No, she was just average. Sure, she was a princess, but she was average. And no one listens to average.
Though the more serious problem she needed to worry about was her virginity. It was gone, stolen by the thief of the night.
Her father made it loud and clear that were she to lose her virginity to a god, well, she can kiss goodbye to her comfort and luxury for he would exile her immediately.
And besides that, her lost virginity was a stumbling block in a man and woman’s marriage, and would be labeled a damaged product without value.
It was why the king kept strict watch on Asquitea and Hercia. It was his rightful duty as father and king to keep their purity for the worthy groom.
Thebes needed to enter into a marriage to foreign countries to strengthen their power. And besides, Thebes was a small city-state sandwiched between powerful states and countries. A marriage of alliance was absolutely crucial for the sake of their survival.
The king needed to use his daughters well.
Eutostea too — she knew better than anyone else of her duties and responsibilities as a princess. Sometimes, she was concerned of what would lie before her two sisters. They could not think much beyond their future and she worried for their sake.
But before that, why did her window latch come off last night, and why did Apollo mistake her for her second sister?
‘Oh, I’m screwed…’
Back in the room, Eutostea teared up and slammed her head on the desk.
“Oh, Artemis, what will become of me?” Eutostea asked the goddess of purity a question, but it came without a reply.
Sighing, Eutostea checked the window. She mentioned the servants earlier to have it fixed and it should have been repaired by now, but still, there was no latch.